Have you seen all the beautiful rhinestone statement necklaces that are so popular right now? I LOVE them. I love their intricate shapes and delicate designs and bright, sparkling rhinestones. I especially love the current trend of mixing different metals, like I did in the necklace here...it's sort of bohemian and industrial yet still elegant, all at the same time. But have you seen the price tags on this kind of jewelry? A little out of my budget. And when jewelry fads go in and out of style every couple of seasons, I'm not all that willing to shell out a lot of money for a necklace. So what's my solution to this dilemma? Make my own statement necklace, of course. Really, you can do it too.
When you make your own jewelry, you can design it around your own tastes and the materials you have available. Which means you can make it fit your style exactly. It's a win-win. And all you need for a gorgeous rhinestone statement necklace of your own are some rhinestone sliders (you can find rhinestone jewelry sliders in the bead/jewelry section of most craft stores), some metal filigree blanks, a few jump rings, and some chain and a clasp of your liking. Oh, and don't forget the industrial strength glue (like E6000). Scroll down and I'll walk you through the process. In just a few easy steps you can have your own beautiful necklace that looks like a million bucks!
-7 rhinestone sliders: 1 large focal pendant, 4 medium sliders, and 2 small sliders. I used pieces set in gold, bronze, and silver tone bases for a mixed metal effect.
-7 metal filigree blanks in sizes to match your rhinestone sliders (you can find these in the jewelry section of most craft stores)
-Jump rings, 4mm (6mm could work too, as long as they're of a thick-gauge wire)
-13" of thick, large link bronze cable chain
-1 medium-sized toggle clasp
-E6000 or other industrial strength glue
-Chain nose pliers
-Flat nose pliers (or a 2nd pair of chain nose pliers)
-Jewelry wire snips or other heavy duty cutting pliers
-Freezer or wax paper
-Eye protection or safety goggles
2. A slider is called a slider because it has loops on the back side that allow it to 'slide' along on whatever it's been strung. These cause the sliders to be raised slightly when set on a flat surface.
3. Flip your slider top down and locate the slider loops on the bottom--these need to be removed.
4. Using your heavy gauge wire snips, VERY CAREFULLY clip off the slider loops. PLEASE wear safety goggles if you have them, and make sure to point the slider AWAY from you while snipping! I take the extra precaution of placing my thumb over the top of the metal piece as I snip, so it doesn't fly up when cut. Repeat until all slider loops have been removed from the rhinestone piece. Make sure to complete this step for all of the sliders you plan to use in this necklace. Really, it goes pretty quickly.
5. Take your metal filigree blanks and try to match them up with your sliders by size--you want them to be roughly the same size so that they will not be visible from the front once attached to the sliders.
**Not pictured: take some sandpaper and rough up the back of your slider and one side of the metal filigree blank to ensure that the glue will hold better.
6. Gather up your trusty glue and a skewer if you have one--I find that E6000 always comes out of the tube in large globs rather than thin lines, so I prefer to use a skewer to place the glue exactly where I want it. I would also suggest putting down a layer of freezer or wax paper over your work surface. These papers are great for working with super sticky industrial glue since they are coated with wax (which will keep your glued slider-filigree pieces from sticking to your work surface while they're drying).
7. Place your metal filigree blank against the back of your slider and note the high points where they touch. Using your skewer, apply a small amount of glue to those points and quickly attach your metal filigree blank.
8. Position your filigree blank so that it is centered nicely on your slider, and note where on the filigree edges you think you'll be connecting it to the neighboring sliders; try to make sure that the holes around the edges in those locations are free of glue, or use a small safety pin or some wire to clear the glue from those holes. Place the sliders on the wax paper rhinestone side down, and let dry for 48-72 hours (this length of time is necessary for the glue to cure completely).
9. Once the glue is thoroughly dried it's time to put your necklace together! Line up your pieces again and arrange them how you want them to be connected.
10. Starting with the large focal pendant, take one of the neighboring sliders and attach the two together by using your chain nose pliers to slide a jump ring through their metal filigree edges. Use both pairs of pliers to help close the jump ring--it'll probably be a little tight. You can either try using one large (6mm) jump ring, or you could try three smaller (4mm) rings. Note that if you're using multiple small jump rings to connect two pieces then you'll need to use an odd amount--otherwise your pieces will be connected perpendicularly rather than laying flat (if that confused you then try using an even number of jump rings and you'll see what I mean). You'll want a fairly snug connection here, but not so snug that the pieces are buckling; they should lay flat once connected. Also, I like to connect the large pieces together in two places each for added security (photos 10 and 11 both show how I've used two sets of jump rings at each connection point).
11. Repeat step 10 with the neighboring slider on the other side of the focal pendant. As the metal filigree blanks might be slightly crooked, don't worry about the connections having to be exactly symmetrical; it's not all that noticeable on the finished piece. (And besides, a few minor imperfections are what make this a handmade work of art.)
12. Repeat the connection process for all of the remaining sliders. Once all are connected, pick up the whole piece and make sure it isn't buckling, majorly crooked, etc. Reposition any sliders if needed until their positioning is to your liking.
13. Divide your 13" of large link chain into two equal pieces; each should now be about 6 1/2 inches long.
14. Connect one end of a chain piece to one of the top sliders using jump rings through the filigree blank (just like in step 10 above). Repeat this step for the top slider on the opposite side with the other piece of chain. Again, I like to connect the chain ends to the top sliders with two jump rings each, for added security.
15. Add a toggle clasp to the other ends of each chain segment, and you're finished!
Now make a bunch of these to match all of your favorite outfits. Or to give to your sisters and girlfriends as Christmas gifts. Or just because they're fun. You'll have a whole stash of beautiful statement necklaces in no time at all!
Are you a fan of the statement necklace trend? Have you ever made your own statement necklace? I'd love to know!
Linking up with:Take-A-Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish Whims
We Did It! Wednesday at Sew Much Ado
Show & Tell at Gingerly Made
Be.You.Tiful Link Up Party at Fry Sauce and Grits
Link Party Palooza at Tatertots and Jello
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
The Party Bunch at 30 Handmade Days
Think Pink Sunday at Flamingo Toes